Joshua 3:14-4:7 ~ New American Bible
14 The people struck their tents to cross the Jordan, with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant ahead of them. 15 No sooner had these priestly bearers of the ark waded into the waters at the edge of the Jordan, which overflows all its banks during the entire season of the harvest, 16 than the waters flowing from upstream halted, backing up in a solid mass for a very great distance indeed, from Adam, a city in the direction of Zarethan; while those flowing downstream toward the Salt Sea of the Arabah disappeared entirely. Thus the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 While all Israel crossed over on dry ground, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD remained motionless on dry ground in the bed of the Jordan until the whole nation had completed the passage.
1 After the entire nation had crossed the Jordan, 2 the LORD said to Joshua, "Choose twelve men from the people, one from each tribe, 3 and instruct them to take up twelve stones from this spot in the bed of the Jordan where the priests have been standing motionless. Carry them over with you, and place them where you are to stay tonight."
4 Summoning the twelve men whom he had selected from among the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 Joshua said to them: "Go to the bed of the Jordan in front of the ark of the LORD, your God; lift to your shoulders one stone apiece, so that they will equal in number the tribes of the Israelites. 6 In the future, these are to be a sign among you. When your children ask you what these stones mean to you, 7 you shall answer them, 'The waters of the Jordan ceased to flow before the ark of the covenant of the LORD when it crossed the Jordan.' Thus these stones are to serve as a perpetual memorial to the Israelites."
It was an instant miracle, the Jordan parted like the Red Sea. Only it wasn't so sudden, one generation of Israel had passed away, the Lord waited 40 years for the Ark to pass through the Jordan River. In the Lord's time and to serve His purpose, miracles occur. The Lord expects His people to be a holy people.
When God's time was right:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Dr. James Pritchard, University of Pennsylvania, In 1964, Dr. James Pritchard turned his attention to the Jordanian site of Tell es-Sa'idiyeh, identified as the biblical city of Zarethan. Pritchard, of the University of Pennsylvania, found in 2 months, he hit pay dirt so fast that he hardly caught up with himself. He suspects that in Biblical times the Jordan Valley was the richest and most civilized part of Palestine.
Dr. Pritchard thinks that Zarethan was a city of Canaanites, ruled by the Hebrews in Jerusalem, but he is also convinced that its site was inhabited long before the Hebrew invasion. For one thing, it had plenty of water, a rarity in the Jordan Valley. After spotting springs that still flow from the foot of the mound.
While probing in a slightly lower part of the mound, Dr. Pritchard stumbled by accident upon his most spectacular find: a mud-walled tomb with the skeleton of a woman of high station, perhaps a local queen. She lay with rich grave goods still around her—500 beads of carnelian and 75 of gold, silver pins, a silver chain, four ivory boxes, an ivory spoon with a human head carved on it, and many objects of bronze and pottery. She must have died about 1200 B.C., not long after Joshua stormed the Promised Land.
Link to a Google page of then and now
I grew up in Dallas in a nice neighborhood where the houses were typically on half an acre. As the city got 10 times larger, the houses were torn down and a Jewish Temple that supported and supported one another, enabled a majority of the neighborhood to tear down the old house and build much, much larger homes. My parents built our house about six years before I was born and my dad drew up the plans based upon Williamsburg architecture.
We had loved that house I grew up in and people occasionally rang the doorbell asking if we wanted to sell. The house had great charm. Daddy told me he had one of the most vivid dreams of his life and spoke of the dream often to me. He dreamed that as he built the house in the 1950s, the house became larger and larger and larger like the Vanderbilt Mansion Biltmore or like Northpark Mall. He couldn't believe how it had grown. He was worried about the cost and the bills. As he wandered and wandered, he became lost. When he returned many years later, like Rip Van Winkle, he found my mother had remarried and was sitting near the front door with her new husband hand in hand. As he was asking, he discovered it was a neighbor she had married.
I read constantly as a child, and one of the books I kept up with for more than a decade was a story of young boy and his friends who discovered an abandoned house in the woods and they all took up a bedroom in the large home and had projects and studies as they pretended to be adults. Later they discovered the home owner had always lived upstairs, but she had so enjoyed seeing the children's projects she allowed them to use her home and develop into the interesting adults she was sure they would become.
The dream and the book merged into my life. My father passed on to Heaven about twenty years ago. The house, if you look at the link at the top of the page, became the Youth Services Building for the Jewish Temple. And is the same color as North Park Mall. If my father were to wander back into our lives for a visit, he would find my 80 year old mother's extremely caring and kind boyfriend is a man from this neighborhood and they have dated for about six years now.
It is a sweet, glorious feeling to know my father had some vision of our future and he would want to come back and see us doing our lives and, yet, remembering him with love.
God - Isaiah 55 says something about this wonderful memory of the time that was so very beautiful.
"Because I, the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”
6 Seek the Lord while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near.
7 Let the wicked change their ways
and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.
8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens
and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
producing seed for the farmer
and bread for the hungry.
11 It is the same with my word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
12 You will live in joy and peace.
The mountains and hills will burst into song,
and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
13 Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name;
they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”
Father God, thank You for Your blessings yesterday, today and tomorrow. Upon You we will rely in the name of Jesus the Lord. Love continues. Amen
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †